Migration Policy Scotland seeks to meet the need for greater policy capacity on migration in Scotland in constructive and evidence-based ways.
We believe that responses to migration should be shaped by both expert stakeholders and the people and communities who experience migration.
In 2019, the Migration Policy Scotland Scoping project identified a need for greater policy capacity on migration in Scotland outside of asylum and refugee migration. Our scoping exercise included conversations with over 30 people working on migration across Scotland in various capacities. We also held consultative workshops in Aberdeen and Glasgow involving a further 20 people. What we found was written up in a report. In July 2020 an online event provided the opportunity to discuss our findings and consider the options for meeting this need for greater capacity.
Following this consultation and deliberation, we made the decision to set up a think tank. It is our hope that Migration Policy Scotland can play a pivotal role in meeting the need for a greater capacity on migration-related issues in Scotland. We also want offer to a focal platform for organisations and individuals working on migration, or with migrants, in Scotland, helping to build bridges and drive action on complex, cross-cutting issues.
MPS Director, Dr Sarah Kyambi, is an expert on UK immigration policy. Her experience working for think tanks in Edinburgh, London and Brussels showed her the power of bringing different actors together to discuss and learn when shaping policy responses. She founded Migration Policy Scotland in 2020, having become increasingly aware of the need for greater policy capacity on migration in Scotland.
Sarah has high-level experience delivering policy-relevant research and analysis for government, funders and NGOs. Her track-record securing policy impact is particularly strong. She has led several projects that influenced policy thinking on migration. These include:
- Her paper ‘Room for Manoeuvre’ (2009). This was the first to explore the scope for regionalisation within the UK’s immigration system. It became the focus of a Scottish Government National Conversation Roundtable with Minister Mike Russell. It also underpinned the regional immigration policy adopted by the UK Liberal Democrats. When regionalisation gained renewed salience in the aftermath of the Brexit vote, she developed this work further with a report evaluating the options for differentiation with colleagues at the University of Edinburgh.
- Developing the first CoSLA guide for Local Authorities in Scotland on migrant entitlements and eligibility for public services (2012).
- Her work on new immigrant communities at the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) which alerted politicians, policymakers, and the media to significant changes in UK immigration and settlement patterns in 2005. The resulting report was the most widely covered in IPPR’s history and the focus of the BBC born abroad webpages. It led to the coining of the term ‘superdiversity’.
Sarah has been active in the UK migration sector for over 20 years, working with migrant communities and on migrants rights in a variety of roles. These include: Policy Director at the Migrants’ Rights Network, Director and Migrants Rights Scotland, Trustee at Asylum Aid and Legal Caseworker at the Refugee Legal Centre.
She holds a PhD in Law and Social Theory from the University of London (2002).
MPS Chair, Professor Christina Boswell, is an expert on UK and European immigration policy.
In particular, the role of expert knowledge in policy-making and political debate. She has served as consultant for a range of governments and international organisations, including the European Commission, European Parliament, OECD, UN High Commission for Refugees, and UN Global Commission on Migration. She currently serves as Chair of the Scottish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population. Christina has extensive experience of research management, including as Dean of Research for the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at Edinburgh University, where she is responsible for research strategy and support for over 2,200 academic staff. From August 2021 she will take up the role of Vice President (Public Policy) for the British Academy.
Nick Bibby works at the interface of research and policymaking.
He is currently the director of the Scottish Policy and Research Exchange, which helps academics based at all of Scotland’s HEIs engage more effectively with policy professionals. Nick began his career in political journalism before moving overseas to work as a teacher and lecturer, during which time he helped found an organisation advising migrant workers in Korea on their legal rights. More recently he has worked in media and policy engagement within higher education, developing digital and organisational tools to aid the flow of scholarship into policy. He is a board member of eu+me, a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, and a visiting fellow at the School for the Study of Canada at Trent University in Ontario.
MPS Secretary, Professor Rebecca Kay, has over 25 years’ experience of qualitative research with particular expertise in community-based studies and participatory research approaches.
Over the past decade her research has focused specifically on understanding lived experiences of Central East European migrants to Scotland and considering how these can better be drawn on to develop fit for purpose policy advice and practice. She co-founded the Glasgow Refugee, Asylum and Migration Network in 2010, has led an extensive 5-year study (2013-18) into the experiences of migration to and settlement in urban and rural areas of Scotland (SSAMIS). She is currently a member of the Scottish Government’s Expert Advisory Group on Migration and Population.
MPS Treasurer, Grace McGill WS, is a Solicitor in private practice in Scotland with a career of almost 30 years dedicated to the practice of UK Immigration and Refugee law.
She holds a Masters degree in International Human Rights Law. She is the founding and Senior partner of MCGILL & Co, a specialist Immigration law firm based in Scotland, recognised by the legal 500 for the last 7 years as the leading firm in the field with Grace herself recognised as the leading individual for the last 6 years. She has been admitted as an accredited specialist in Immigration law by the Law Society of Scotland and is an appointed trainer & Trustee for the Immigration Law Practitioners Association (ILPA) serving on the Board since 2014. She has been admitted to the Society of the Writers to the Signet (WS) and serves on Council and is also a member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the Law Society of Scotland. She is the Principal author of the Immigration Law Chapter for Stair Memorial Encyclopaedia and a contributor for Lexis Nexis and the International Bar Association. Due to her extensive practice, she has been admitted as a foreign Legal Consultant by the Supreme Court in Texas and is admitted an international associate of the American Immigration Practitioners Association.
Dr Rachel Marangozov has over 15 years’ experience working on migrant integration.
Particularly in relation to labour market
disadvantage, including issues around progression, discrimination and impacts
of migration on particular sectors of the economy. Her expertise is recognised
at both the UK and European level, having held expert roles with both the UK Parliament and the European Commission. She is skilled at communicating her expertise to the broader public and her work on Brexit and the nursing workforce in England featured extensively in the mainstream media. Having spent over a decade at the Institute for Employment Studies, formulating evidence-based policy solutions, she has brought a robust understanding of ‘what works’ to numerous evaluations of government pilots and programmes targeted at structural disadvantage. At the European level, she has developed a number of benchmarking toolkits and policy recommendations in direct engagement with migrant communities and organisations themselves, feeding this up to Member States and the European Commission. Most recently,
her work as thematic expert for the European Commission made a series of key recommendations on how the European Social Fund can advance migrant integration.
Rachel is currently a Director of MigrationWork CIC, which helps communities, policymakers and practitioners respond to migration in practical and evidence-based ways. She holds MPhil and PhD degrees
from the University of Cambridge.